Review * Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

November 15, 2012 Reviews 9 ★★★★

Review * Ashen Winter by Mike MullinAshen Winter by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #2
Published by Tanglewood Press on October 16, 2012
Genres: Natural Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Pages: 576
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Ashfall, Sunrise
Add to: Goodreads
It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.

What I Thought…

  • Just like with Ashfall, if you’re looking for a light and fluffy read, or a quick read, this book is not for you. Coming in at 568 pages it’s a lot, and it reads more like an adult book than a YA book. This is not a bad thing at all! It just means that it takes a lot longer to read it, but it’s worth it, I promise!
  • Ashen Winter started with a bang and didn’t stop. Alex and Darla kept running into problem after problem as well as creating some of their own. Alex can pretty much make a problem out of nothing at all.
  • Darla is still my favorite. That girl can kick some ass. I hope that if something like this ever happens I have her strength to get through it.
  • Alex finally got his act together and took charge in getting stuff done and taken care of. Once he made his decisions he was 100% determined to get them done, no matter the cost.
  • The life/world in Ashen Winter is the worst possible thing you could ever imagine.  And I mean ever. It is dismal and depressing and dark and dreary and it pretty much sucks. But there is still hope, even if it’s only Alex and Darla that feel that way. (In the authors note Mullin states that he talked to a lot of people on what would happen if Yellowstone erupted and he picked the worst possible scenario).
  • The thing that I think sucks the most is the government. It’s the kind of government that you see in a lot of third world countries where they are there but they are not actually there to protect you. They are easily bought off by whomever can give them the best goods (some of their requested good make me shudder). The ones that you think you could turn to for help turn out to be the worst ones.
  • Two new characters make their appearance in Ashen Winter. Alyssa and Ben are brother and sister, who lost their parents and ended up in a crummy situation. Alyssa drove me nuts (probably the authors intent) and I didn’t like her, but I loved Ben. Ben is autistic and I loved how the Mullin worked that into the story, as well as how it portrayed.
  • Again, there are a few scenes in Ashen Winter that take it a bit too far in terms of what I can handle. It’s realistically portrayed, I just don’t have the mindset or stomach to handle such things.
  • Even though the Ashfall series depicts society at it’s worst, it also shows the hope that comes through. Not everyone resorts to being an ugly human being just to survive, though you definitely have to be careful who you help!

Overall if you like post apocalyptic fiction, this book is definitely for you!

* I received a copy of this ARC via NetGalley (Thank you Tanglewood Press!) in exchange for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for my review.


9 Responses to “Review * Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin”

  1. Jessie Marie

    I haven’t even read Ashfall yet – but I want to! Reading your review, I definitely perked up when you said: “The life/world in Ashen Winter is the worst possible thing you could ever imagine. And I mean ever. It is dismal and depressing and dark and dreary and it pretty much sucks.” I don’t really want to look into /why/ I am more intrigued by that but it sounds right up my alley. : )

    Lovely review, as always.

    – Jessie Marie @ The Daily Bookmark

  2. Christina

    Oh hey, look! You made it through! Haha, it was funny watching you get through this one in GR. I read this in like a day. :-p

    Darla is so amazing. I would die immediately.

    Like you, I hated Alyssa and loved Ben. It seemed to my, mostly uneducated self, a really non-judgmental or overly optimistic portrayal of autism.

    Ooh, if you had trouble with the gruesomeness of some of this book, you probably shouldn’t read Ilsa J. Bick’s Ashes Trilogy. I heard book two was MEGA-violent.

    • Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

      Ha, ha! I was just so busy! And it’s a big book!

      I would die immediately too, I predetermined that with The Hunger Games.

      I think Mullin did an excellent job portraying Ben.

      Yeah, I think I’ll stay away from that series. I’m not a fan of grossness.